Aviation Expert Demands FAA Action After Fatal EagleMed Crash


Slack & Davis aviation attorney Ladd Sanger contributed to this KOKH-TV news story about the June 11, 2013, EagleMed helicopter crash, saying, “This many crashes in this short period of time is indicative of a serious problem from an operational standpoint.” (Additional comments below.)

Aviation Expert Demands FAA Action After Fatal EagleMed Crash
Reporter: Priscilla Luong, KOKH-TV (Fox 25), Oklahoma City
Link to story (with video).

OKLAHOMA CITY – A man died in an EagleMed helicopter crash in Southeastern Oklahoma. The crash happened Tuesday night outside Choctaw Nation Healthcare Center in Talihina.

Janet Sharp, a spokesperson for the hospital says the helicopter was transporting a patient to Tulsa. The patient died in the crash. One other person was transported to a Tulsa hospital for treatment, and two others were hurt.

Tuesday’s crash marks the third fatal EagleMed crash in three years.

Ladd Sanger, a pilot and aviation attorney says its time for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to take action against EagleMed.

“This many crashes in this short period of time is indicative of a serious problem from an operational standpoint,” said Sanger.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating the crash. An EagleMed spokesman says the company is cooperating with both agencies.

Sanger says regardless of the cause of the crash, he wants to see FAA officials suspend EagleMed’s air carrier certificate.

“That is going to have to get rectified,” he said, “or this company is going to continue to put innocent people’s lives in jeopardy.”

The Commission on Accrediation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS) has placed EagleMed’s accreditation on hold. Sanger says its a step in the right direction, but is not enough.

Hospitals around the Oklahoma City Metro, like Integris Baptist Medical Center have cancelled contracts with EagleMed in recent years, but it is too soon to determine if Choctaw Nation Healthcare Center will follow suit.

“That’s all pending investigation,” said Sharp.

As the hospital waits for investigators to determine the cause of the crash, Sharp says officials have one message for families affected.

“The thoughts and prayers of Choctaw Nation go out to these families,” she said.